The Canadian dollar resumed its advance against the US dollar as the greenback retreated across the board. Manufacturing Sales, Rate decision and inflation data are the highlights of this week. Here is an outlook on the major market-movers and an updated technical analysis for USD/CAD.
Last week, the value of Canadian building permits rose less-than-expected in February with a 1.7% increase, amid a sharp decline in plans for multi-family housing. This rise was followed by a 1.8% gain in January. Analysts expected an increase of 5.4%. However this reading was in line with the recent softening trend in the housing market. In the US, jobless claims returned to the normal range, but there are plenty of worrying signs.
Updates: Tuesday kicks off this week’s Canadian releases, with Manufacturing Sales and Foreign Securities Purchases on the schedule. The BOC will set the benchmark interest rate and release a rate statement on Wednesday. Manufacturing Sales looked very sharp, jumping from -0.2% to 2.6.%. This blew past the estimate of 0.6%. Foreign Securities Purchases took a dive, dropping from $13.34 billion to $-6.31 billion. The estimate stood at $7.28 billion. As widely expected, the BOC maintained interest rates at 1.00%. The central bank cut its growth forecast for 2013 from 2% to 1.5%, and said that it doesn’t expect the economy to get back in full gear until mid-2015. Core CPI, a key indicator, will be released on Friday. USD/CAD has moved higher up, as the pair was trading at 1.0251.
- Manufacturing Sales: Tuesday, 13:30. Canadian manufacturing sales dropped unexpectedly in January, down 0.2% following 3.3% plunge in December. The drop was due to weak production in the aerospace, auto and energy industries. This reading was much worse than the 0.7% predicted by analysts. The sales volume declined 0.4% in January from December. The volatile aerospace sector had a lot to do with January’s weak result. An increase of 0.6% is forecast.
- Foreign Securities Purchases: Tuesday, 13:30. Foreign purchases soared to C$13.34 billion in January, rebounding from a C$1.92 billion Foreign sales in December. This was the largest acquisitions of private corporate debt instruments since October 2001. A smaller figure of C$7.28 billion is forecasted this time.
- Canadian Rate decision and Press Conference: Wednesday, 15:00. The Bank of Canada maintained its benchmark interest rate at 1.0% but hinted that the next shift will be upwards. The BOC expects economic growth to pick up through 2013, driven by a recovery in exports and slightly higher domestic spending. The current monetary policy stimulus will likely remain appropriate for the coming months, after which some modest withdrawal will likely be required. No change in rates is expected.
- G20 Meetings: Thursday. April 18-19, G20 meetings attended by finance ministers and central bankers from 20 industrialized nations including the G7 nations will meet in Washington DC to discuss global financial issues and form global policies.
- Inflation data: Friday, 13:30. Canada’s inflation climbed sharply by 1.2% in February, following a 0.1% rise in January, much higher than the 0.6% increase estimated. The rise occurred due to higher prices for gasoline and cars. Core inflation increased 0.8% from 0.1% rise in January, higher than the0.3% increase anticipated. Both CPI and Core CPI are expected to gain 0.2%.
- Wholesale Sales: Friday, 13:30. Canadian wholesale sales rose 0.3% in January, after a 1.1% decline in December. The increase was led by computer sales. The rise was a bit lower than the 0.4% gain expected by analysts.0.5%
- IMF Meetings: Fri-Sat. The IMP Spring meeting will include thousands of government officials, journalists, civil society organizations, and invited participants from the academia and private sectors. World Bank-IMF Development Committe and the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee, will discuss progress on the work of the World Bank and the IMF.
* All times are GMT.
USD/CAD Technical Analysis
Dollar/CAD traded between the 1.0125 and 1.0180 lines (mentioned last week) in classic range trading. Later on, the pair dropped below 1.01 for a short lived dive, before climbing back up and closing at 1.0130, just above the 1.0125 line.
Technical lines, from top to bottom:
1.0523 was a peak back in November 2011 and is minor resistance. 1.0446 was the peak that the pair recorded in June 2012 and is a key line on the upside.
1.0340 was the peak during March 2013 and its position strengthens at the moment. Consequent rises failed to reach this line, and this could be a bearish sign. The round number of 1.03 was resistance at the beginning of the year and now returns to this role. It worked perfectly well during June – over and over again, until finally being run through.
1.0250 was a peak before the pair moved below parity a long time ago, and worked as support quite well in March 2013. It is weakening now. 1.0180 provided support for the pair during March, and late switched to resistance. It is now a pivotal line.
1.0125 gave its support to the pair during April 2013 and remains important despite the temporary break. 1.01, was a trough back in July, and switched to resistance afterwards. The line proved its strength several times in 2013.
1.0066 was key support before parity. It’s strength during July 2012 was clearly seen and it gave a fight before surrendering. It has a stronger role after capping the pair during November 2012, but has begun weakening. The very round number of USD/CAD parity is a clear line of course, and the battle was very clear to see at the beginning of August 2012 and also in 2013. It is a clear separator.
0.9950 provided some support for the pair during November and worked as resistance earlier. 0.9910 remains the chart after serving as a bottom border for the pair in November 2012. It already managed to work as weak resistance in December 2012.
0.9880 showed that it is a clear separator in October 2012. It also had a role in the past. This line switches roles once again.
I turn bullish on USD/CAD.
The attempts of USD/CAD to fall towards parity lack conviction and the strength of the loonie is mostly driven by the weakness of the US dollar. After the recent disappointing jobs report, and the drop in the price of oil, the pair seems to have little room to fall, even if the US economy isn’t looking too great.
- For a broad view of all the week’s major events worldwide, read the USD outlook.
- For EUR/USD, check out the Euro to Dollar forecast.
- For the Japanese yen, read the USD/JPY forecast.
- For GBP/USD (cable), look into the British Pound forecast.
- For the Australian dollar (Aussie), check out the AUD to USD forecast.
- USD/CAD (loonie), check out the Canadian dollar